HR & Management
Tackling turnover by understanding why employees are leaving your business
6 min read
11 March 2019
When you get recruitment right, it’s brilliant. But when it goes wrong it can damage brand and reputation.
Often many businesses overlook when employees decide to leave an organisation. The importance of your workforce should not be underestimated and making sure they are all comfortable and happy in their roles in a great way to not only take stock of their wellbeing, but also ensure they’re are working effectively and productively. Given the investment many companies make in hiring people, it is quite staggering that employees often leave without companies really taking time to understand why.
By considering why people are leaving, or delving into why a high turnaround of staff exists, you will not only find out how to make your existing employees content, but also know how to effectively support any new team member that joins. When you get recruitment right it’s brilliant, but when the process goes wrong it can damage brand and reputation for both the employee and employer. If an employee chooses to leave to go to a competitor it means your competition is doing something you are not. To stay ahead you need to evaluate why this is the case.
Drill down the data
There is so much quantitative data available for business to consider when looking at who is moving on from your organisation. Payroll and/or HR systems are a great way to access this data – and you can learn so much more than you may first think. Obvious information can be gained such as the number of leavers over a given period, which department has the highest turnover, or how long they have been with the company.
This information means you can judge the scale of any issues that are present and also pinpoint the business areas which need the most attention. Looking at this data with a fine-tooth comb will allow you to make real progress in stopping future employees leaving for preventable reasons.
At first, you may want to shy away from this data, as it may initially feel uncomfortable, but without taking stock of your true situation, you will not be able to move forward.
However, there is much more that can be learned from the characteristics of your leavers that have a wide impact on policies which you may have initially deemed unconnected, in particular relating to diversity and inclusivity.
Consider your diversity and inclusivity policy
Some businesses hold more detailed information than others on the different characteristics of their employees such as ethnicity, sexual orientation and disabilities. Considering this information will help you to determine the successes and limitations of your diversity and inclusivity policies.
For example, if many individuals with disabilities are choosing to leave your organisation, it may be because you are not offering enough support. You may not have uncovered this information without looking at this data, but now you can ensure anyone else, present or future, with similar requirements can feel more supported.
How many roles did they hold at your company and did they progress over their time with you?
A common reason for people to seek a new job is for a pay rise or a promotion to progress their career to the next level. When looking at the leavers’ information, consider whether you think each employee has moved up during their time. If they have been sitting on the same role, consider whether this is accurate or you may need to review your inclusivity policies to ensure everyone is being offered the same opportunities for progression. This is also similar to your benefits procedure. If when you look at their information they have not been allocated the correct benefits, you can review this for all employees and ensure everyone is treated equally.
Who was their manager?
Good managers and leaders are fundamental in creating a positive working environment. If when you take a look at the leavers figures, many employees under a certain manager are leaving, you may need to review the position of that individual and provide them with extra training to manage the team more effectively and ensure they are approachable for any concerns.
Not all organisations ask employees why they are leaving the business – and this should be collected if possible. All employees should have a number of avenues to express their views, which could include a questionnaire to gain qualitative reasoning for their decisions.
Despite this, many employees are reluctant to share their true feelings here but they should be encouraged to and not feel shamed for their decision. In fact, if an inclusive culture is created from the offset, employees will feel comfortable to share their career ambitions during their employment tenure so this can be accommodated and not be the cause of their leaving.
Considering leavers information will not bring back employees who have already made the decision to move on, but it will ensure that others do not leave for similar reasons, particularly if they can be prevented by taking a truthful look at your current provision and approach to diversity and inclusion.